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2023 SHRM Olympia Board of Directors

    2023 President - Jerame Johnson, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, MHRM  LinkedIn

    Jerame retired from the US Army after 20 years of service with more than half in the Human Resources profession. He has worked in various positions in HR throughout his 13 year HR career in the retail, healthcare, gaming, and DOD industries. He has been on the SHRM Olympia board for four years. He holds a MA in Human Resource Management, a BS in Aeronautics, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, LSS-YB, a DEI certification, and an Negotiation / Conflict Resolution certification.

    President-Elect 2024 and Treasurer - Samantha Jenkins  LinkedIn

    Samantha has been a SHRM member since 2016, and a board member since 2017. In her current professional and voluntary roles, she practices HR Operations including but not limited to payroll, accounts receivable, all aspects of recruiting and hiring while leading a sales team in West Olympia. She is business professional and holds a Masters degree in Business Leadership from South University.  

    Membership Director – Tressa Smith  LinkedIn

    Tressa Smith is a Human Resources Consultant at the Washington State Department of Licensing. Holding a Batchelor’s of Science in Business Management, her career has been risk focused in various facets and positions within Business Operations and Human Resources. With over 6 years focused in Human Resources, she previously held the positions of Risk and Safety Manager at Koelsch Communities and the Risk Manager role at Little Creek Resort. She is driven in investigations, people management, reducing risk, and assessing strengths, opportunities, and areas of improvement.

    Co-Workforce Readiness Director – Amanda Torres  LinkedIn

    Amanda Torres has over 15 years’ experience in HR including performance management, employee training, employee relations, investigations, and talent acquisition. She currently works at the Department of Licensing as the Labor and Operations Manager where she oversees and advices on all matters related to employee and labor relation issues. Her HR career began in the Army where she served 27 years in various positions such as Recruiter, Training and Development Supervisor, and Inspector General. Her educational background includes a Master’s degree in Business Management and a Post Master’s Certification in Adult Teaching. In her spare time, Amanda enjoys spending time outdoors and traveling with family and friends.

    Co-Workforce Readiness Director – Sonia Garza  LinkedIn

    Sonia Garza is a Military Spouse Fellowship Program Manager in JBLM. WA for Hiring Our Heroes, a U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation program which provides military spouses with professional training, networking, and hands-on experience in the civilian workforce. For over a decade, Sonia has built a career as a business development professional in the nonprofit sector where she has developed programs and scaled revenue to positively impact service and advocacy missions. In addition to her paid work, she has continuously volunteered and served on nonprofit boards. Sonia is an active-duty Army Special Forces spouse, and also serves as a city councilmember to the City of Dupont, giving representation and a valuable voice to military families in her community. Sonia was recently named to South Sound’s 40 Under 40 for her community role and involvement. She is a recent graduate of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce Business Leadership Academy and currently serves as an active board member for BaseHubs as well as a mentor for the University of WA Milgard Women’s Initiative.

    She holds a BA from Sam Houston State University and a MS from Our Lady of the Lake University and was named JBLM Military Spouse of the Year in 2022.

    Programs Director - Vacant

    Treasurer  -  Samantha Jenkins  LinkedIn

    Samantha Jenkins has been a SHRM member since 2016, and a board member since 2017. In her current professional and voluntary roles, she practices HR Operations including but not limited to payroll, accounts receivable, all aspects of recruiting and hiring while leading a sales team in West Olympia. She is business professional and holds a Masters degree in Business Leadership from South University.

    Secretary - Dr. Yolanda Geolingo, MHRM, MPA, DPA  LinkedIn

    Dr. Yolanda Geolingo is currently the Human Resources Manager for King County Superior Court. She started her HR career when she joined the US Army in 1995. While in the military and working for the federal government, she earned two master's degrees from Troy University in Human Resources Management and Public Administration and she recently finished her doctorate degree in Public Administration from Walden University. Yolanda has over 25 years of Human Resources experience. Yolanda enjoys spending time with her family and friends, watching NFL, trying new adventures, traveling, and playing with her Yorkies, Yani & Yuri. She is very active in her community through her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta, where she currently a member of the Regional leadership team. Yolanda is currently a Commissioner for the Washington State African Amerian Affairs Commision where she is a subcommittee Chair of Reimaginging Public Safety Public Health. In 2023, Yolanda plans to study for her certification in HR and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

    Co-Director of Communications, Social Media, and Technology - Rosemary Mesa-Walton  LinkedIn 

    Rosemary Mesa-Walton is a multilingual professional with eight (8+) years of experience in business administration, including tangible experience in operations management for businesses ranging in size from small-scale, independently owned ventures to large-scale multi-million dollar corporations. Varied skills include operations, client relations, human resources, recruiting, project management, and administrative support.

    Her educational background includes a Master’s and Bachelor’s degree both from the University of Florida. She graduated with an MA in International Business with a specialization in Global Management and New Venture Planning, and a BA in Business Administration with a specialization in Spanish.

    Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her family and two Great Danes, as well as running 5Ks, swimming, reading, and crafting.

    Co-Director of Communications, Social Media, and Technology - Sarah Sablan  LinkedIn 

    Sarah is currently a Human Resource Consultant for the Washington State Department of Licensing, where she utilizes her skills in performance management, investigations, and other various aspects of employee relations. Sarah completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Human Resource Management in 2020. She has a passion for Human Resources and learning, which lead her to become an active SHRM member in 2020 and obtain her Master of Science degree in Management and Leadership in 2022.

    Government Affairs Director – Vacant

    Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Director - Rafael Fernandez   LinkedIn

    Rafael J. Fernandez currently serves as the Deputy Director for Equity Capacity Building in the Office of Equity at the Office of the Governor where he works to achieve systemic equity through proactive equity anti-racism principles, promoting stronger policy and budget integration across systems, sectors, and jurisdictions, and building systems to dismantle racism by addressing root causes through bold systemic and cultural change. As a Certified Project Director (CPD), Rafael possesses over 15 years’ experience leading, managing, directing, and upholding the ultimate responsibility for organization-wide strategic planning processes, business services, project management, program management, risk management, and employee relations. With a distinctive ability to lead, inspire, coach, train, and motivate teams of diverse professionals through strategic DEI initiatives designed to enhance talent recruitment, retention, and organizational culture, Rafael possesses a proven ability to partner with and win the trust of highly diverse individuals from all walks of life through engaged complex conversations on the intricacies of diversity, inclusion, inequity, and racism. Rafael earned his MBA and BS in Leadership at Trident University International, and recently served in the United States Army for over 20 years. Rafael is a resident of Lacey and enjoys physical fitness, watching his son's soccer matches, and exploring Washington with his family during his spare time.